Archive for the ‘GLBT’ Category
Saudi jailed and flogged for gay video – Sent by Doug Ireland
The following appeared today on Al Bab, the blog on the Middle East by the former Middle East correspondent of The Guardian, Brian Whitaker (author of “Unspeakable Love: Gay and Lesbian life in the Middle East”). To see the video, click on the link to Brian’s blog:
Saudi jailed and flogged for gay video:
A 27-year-old Saudi man from Jeddah has been sentenced to 1,000 lashes, a year in jail and a fine of 5,000 riyals ($1,330) after appearing in an amateur gay video (above).
The film, which lasts 2 minutes and 46 seconds, shows him dressed in a police uniform asking to inspect someone’s driving licence and then flirtatiously demanding “physical comfort” after saying the licence is expired. He later opens his shirt and rubs his chest, removes his cap flaunting his long hair and waves a gun suggestively. That’s as far as it goes.
Arab News says: “The video quickly spread online and through SMS… Attempts have been made to block the video from being viewed in Saudi Arabia.”
The man has not been officially named but he is named on the internet as Ahmad al-Faqih. He was arrested in January and reportedly tried in a closed court. He was charged with impersonating a police officer, committing a “general security” offence and being homosexual.
The man who filmed the video was also arrested but his fate has not been reported.
Photograph: Reuters/Eldson Chagara
Support Amnesty’s Malawi campaign
Fax and post letters to the Malawi government
Call for release of Steven Monjeza & Tiwonge Chimbalanga
London, UK – 11 March 2010
OutRage! is backing Amnesty International’s appeal for letters of protest to the Malawian government over the arrest and trial of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga. They face up to 14 years jail on charges of homosexuality. The verdict in their trial is expected on Monday 22 March.
See this sample letter, and the postal address and fax number of the Malawian President and Attorney General:
Amnesty International has adopted the two men as Prisoners of Conscience and is campaigning for their release.
“OutRage! is supporting Amnesty’s campaign. If enough people send letters of protest, it might help secure an acquittal or a less harsh sentence. Even if Tiwonge and Steven are convicted, they could win a successful appeal and be freed eventually,” said Peter Tatchell of OutRage!
“From their prison cells, both men have urged international pressure for their release. They need lots of support and solidarity in the run-up to the trial result. Please take time to support Amnesty’s letter-writing campaign,” he said.
Amnesty International UK Director, Kate Allen, added:
“Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga have committed no criminal offence and we adopted them as prisoners of conscience after their arrest at the end of December. It is vital that as many people as possible join us in writing to the Malawi authorities calling on them to release the two men and for them to investigate their treatment in custody.”
See this Amnesty International briefing on the case:
Call for participants:
Legislating LGBTQ, a conference on Anti-Discrimination Law
To coincide with the Spanish EU Presidency, and in the context of the important discussions taking place around the proposed horizontal Anti-Discrimination Directive among EU Member States, we feel that this is a prime opportunity to meet in Spain for a conference focusing on Anti-Discrimination legislations. IGLYO aims with it to empower young LGBTQ activists to be part of high-level decision-making.
The Conference is organized in collaboration with Bolo-Bolo, the regional branch of FELGTB, the State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals of Spain, and will be held in the Castle of San Servando, Toledo, from May 30th (Sunday) to June 4th 2010 (Friday).
Some of its main objectives are:
• Studying current anti-discrimination legislations and discuss their strengths and limitations in order to afford protection to LGBTQ young people, based on case studies ;
• Train activists to ’win the argument’ for anti-discrimination legislation at a local and national level;
• Explore methods of engaging with policy-making processes at a national and international level;
• Sharing best practices as well as creating a network of activists;
• Planning future actions and supervision of the implementation process.
Please if you are interested, read thoroughly the full call here.
You can find the online Application Form Click here!
Deadline for receiving applications 24th March 2010.
Candidates will be notified by the 1st April 2010.
UK Scouts condemn Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill
World scout movement acts on threat to gays, including scouts
Geneva scout HQ refers concerns to Scout Association of Uganda
London – 1 March 2010
The Chief Executive of the Scout Association UK, Derek Twine, has expressed opposition to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, describing the legislation as “discriminatory” and “incompatible” with scouting values. The Bill has been tabled by David Bahati MP, who is also Chairman of the Scout Association of Uganda.
Mr Twine’s statement (copy in full below) follows representations to the UK and international scout movement by the London-based LGBT human rights organisation, OutRage!
Mr Twine wrote to Peter Tatchell of OutRage!, as follows:
“We find the Bill not only discriminatory and contrary to the sanctity of life, but also completely incompatible with our interpretation of the values of our worldwide Scouting Movement.”
“We have already drawn our grave concerns on this to the attention of the Secretary General of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM), and we are subsequently aware that the issues are now subject both to WOSM’s direct engagement with the Chief Scout of Uganda (Mrs Maggie Kigozi) and to ongoing global consideration by members of the World Scout Committee,” wrote Mr Twine.
This statement from the UK Scout Association follows simultaneous direct representations by OutRage! to the World Organisation of the Scout Movement in Geneva.
“At our request, the world scout headquarters has written to the Chief Scout and the Chief Commissioner of the Uganda Scout Association concerning the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and the sponsorship of this Bill by the Chairman of the Uganda Scout Association, David Bahati MP,” reports Peter Tatchell of OutRage!
“This swift action followed our protests against Mr Bahati to the Scout Association UK.
“Scouting is very big in Uganda and Mr Bahati derives great prestige from his position as Chairman of the Scout Association of Uganda. If we can get him removed from office it will be a significant personal blow to him. He’ll be weakened and his credibility undermined.
“OutRage! is urging the disaffiliation of the Ugandan scout organisation from the world scouting movement, as a way of adding further pressure on the Ugandan government to drop the Bill.
“Our request for disaffiliation was immediately forwarded by the Scout Association UK to the World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM) in Geneva.
“OutRage!’s actions are an attempt to open up a new front in the campaign against the Bill and to graphically expose the full ramifications of the proposed legislation on youth and civic organisations in Uganda, which have received little coverage so far.
“By highlighting the particular threat to LGBT scout members, we are not detracting in any way from the wider issues and consequences of Mr Bahati’s draconian legislation.
“LGBT scouts and scout leaders are, of course, only one section of the Ugandan LGBT community. All Ugandan LGBTs are at risk if this Bill becomes law. We are concerned about the danger to them all – and the threat to their straight families, friends, supporters and allies,” said Mr Tatchell.
OutRage!’s appeal to WOSM for international scout action is being handled by Jim Sharp, Executive Director, General Management, World Scout Bureau, 5 rue du Pré-Jérôme, CH-1205 Geneva, Switzerland.
Tel: (+41.22) 705 10 10 (switchboard)
Fax: (+41.22) 705 10 20
OutRage!’s appeal to the UK Scout Association is being addressed by Derek Twine, Chief Executive
Tel: 07889 130 812 (from within the UK) and +44 (0) 7889 130 812 (from overseas). Or 020 8433 7107 or 7261 (from within the UK)
Full statement by the Scout Association UK
Since the mid-1990s, The Scout Association has been clear and unequivocal in our equal opportunities policy and practice especially regarding sexual orientation, as befitting our role in contemporary society.
We are recently aware that the Ugandan Parliament has received a Bill that calls for the death sentence for repeat practicing of homosexuality. This Bill is presented by a Ugandan MP (David Bahati) who is also currently the National Chairman of the Uganda Scout Association. In terms of our own policies and understandings, we find the Bill not only discriminatory and contrary to the sanctity of life, but also completely incompatible with our interpretation of the values of our worldwide Scouting Movement.
We have already drawn our grave concerns on this to the attention of the Secretary General of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM), and we are subsequently aware that the issues are now subject both to WOSM’s direct engagement with the Chief Scout of Uganda (Mrs Maggie Kigozi) and to ongoing global consideration by members of the World Scout Committee.
We hope that the bilateral and very positive educational and solidarity projects that have been fostered for many years between Scout Groups in the UK and Scout Groups in Uganda on such matters as health and community development will not be prejudiced or compromised by this situation; we await the formal and public response from the Scout Association of Uganda and from WOSM, whereupon we will review our position.
Derek Twine Chief Executive
07889 130 812 (from within the UK) and +44 (0) 7889 130 812 (from overseas). Or 020 8433 7107 or 7261 (from within the UK)
- Gay Scouts May Face Death Penalty in Uganda – Execution of Gays Proposed by Ugandan Scout Leader – By Peter Tatchell
- World Scout Movement Acts on Uganda – Geneva HQ Refers Concerns to Scout Movement of Uganda – By Peter Tatchell
- Execute Gay Scouts, Says Uganda Chief Scout – Scout Children to Be Hanged Under Proposed Law – By Peter Tatchell
Homophobia in Russia: Eurovision Protest 2009
An opponent of the rights of LGBT people wants to close the gap between Russian and International laws.
Sent by Nicolas Alexeyev.
A Member of the Federation Council of Russia – the Upper-Chamber of the Parliament – Vasily Likhachev, known for his sharp rejection of the civil rights of sexual minorities, was appointed Deputy Minister of Justice.
As reported Gazeta.ru on February 27, the main point in his agenda will be to close the gap between the Russian and the International laws.
But when it comes to LGBT rights the new Deputy Minister of Justice is well known for a series of homophobic remarks.
Just two days before his appointment, Mr Likhachev publicly justified the denial by the Ministry of Justice to register ‘Marriage Equality Russia’, a gay group advocating for same-sex marriage:
“The steps taken by the representatives of the gay community, contradict with the general state of morality of the Russian society because it is not our culture and our form of relations”
In 2006, Mr Likhachev called to use any way to stop the process of family rights of same-sex couple “Already in 7 countries of the European Union, homosexuals are allowed to adopt children. The number of countries where same-sex marriages are permitted continues to grow, that’s why in questions concerning gays, there shouldn’t be maximum permissiveness otherwise, we will go too far and the development of the world will go in the wrong direction”
He further defended the ban of a gay pride in Moscow, arguing that “Minority affects the interests of the majority. City authorities are absolutely right that they did not follow the interest of sexual minorities. There could not be any other discussion here”
A similar position that Mr Likhachev repeated a year later in 2007: The society should not abide by the desires of sexual minorities because homosexuals touch the interest of the majority of the people of traditional orientation,
“The respect of human rights must not violate the moral and ethic. And if such a violation occurs, the authorities must apply the relevant laws to prevent it”
Commenting about the appointment of Mr Likhachev, Nikolai Baev, a co-organizer of Moscow Pride said:
“The new Deputy Minister of Justice does not consider the rights of homosexuals to depend on the constitution or the law of this country,
“Moral, ethic and the interest of the majority of the population is sufficient in his eyes to discriminate against us” said Nikolai Baev.
Gay activist further expressed concerns about the future of registering LGBT groups as non-profit organization in the country.
“The Ministry of Justice denied so far to register any NGO which would officially advocate for the rights of gays and lesbians, but, with the appointment of Mr Likhachev we doubt the trend will reverse”
“The only solution is to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights but this process takes years” ended Nikolai Baev.
Religious and Nationalist Groups call for the ban of St Petersburg Pride
Sent by Nicolas Alexeyev
Extracts of a letter addressed to the Governor of the City.
A group of Religious and Nationalist organizations sent a common letter to the Governor of St Petersburg, Valentina Matvienko, asking her to prohibit any gay pride march in the city.
The letter of which ‘rusk.ru’ received a copy says:
“We are categorically against holding any public events, which in any way present a propaganda of sexual perversions.
“Any parade is a demonstration – demonstration is a form of propaganda. As a result, a gay pride is a propaganda of homosexuality.
“Love between a man and a woman exists only for one purpose – to give birth to a new life but gay pride is the propaganda of death”
“But why does no one remember that holding these actions grossly violates the right of the majority and is doubtful from the point of moral action?
“After all, for the majority of our country and, in particular, for our city, homosexuality is an unacceptable deviation from the norm, a moral rejection and a disgust.
“We are constantly told that democracy is the government of majority, but it turns out that the interests of the majority would be sacrificed to a handful of people with unnatural sexual orientation”
The statement is signed by several nationalists and religious groups among them “Intellectuals of the Orthodox Church; Russian Imperial Movement; Movement “For Faith and Fatherland”, “People’s Cathedral”, “Imperial Russia Union”.
The first official gay pride in St Petersburg is scheduled on June 26.
Eight transgenders join UML Party
Sent by Sunil Pant
KATHMANDU: Political parties in Nepal seem to be getting friendly and welcoming with sexual minorities in recent days. A few months after Bhumika Shreshta, a transsexual, joined the Nepali Congress, the ruling CPN-UML welcomed eight sexual minorities in. UML Vice Chairman Ashok Rai welcomed them amid a function at party headquarters in Balkhu on Friday. Rai said they would be recognised as zonal committee members. Newly joined UML activists include Sandhya Lama, Badri Pun, Suman Chepang, Bishnu Chepang, Sumit Paudel, Raju Silwal and Sthapa Chaudhary. “We are quite happy with your entry into our party,” said Aasta Laxmi Shakya, a UML politburo member. “Your entry will be easier in mainstreaming your agenda as well.” UML leaders KP Sharma Oli, Binda Paney and Rai were also present at the function.
Russia denied registering a Gay Group campaigning for Marriage Equality
Sent by Nicolas Alexeyev
The Russian Ministry of Justice turned down the application of a group of gay and lesbian activists to register the first All Russia NGO dedicated to support the campaign for Same-Sex Marriage.
“Your organization cannot be registered on the basis that its aims contradict the law on NGOs and provisions of the family code which define marriage as a union between a man and a woman“ says the letter received by the board of the organization.
The board said today that “we asked today the Russian justice to reverse this illegal decision, and we will go all the way up the European Court of Human Rights if necessary”
‘Marriage Equality Russia’ is backed by a group of Moscow and St Petersburg LGBT groups as well as individuals, also heterosexuals.
The campaign is already running since last May when the group helped a lesbian couple to register their union in Moscow. After getting a denial from the Civil Registrar, the couple entered into Marriage last October in Toronto.
The couple is about to introduce an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights after the Russian justice twice upheld the denial.
One of the spouses, Irina Fedotova (Fet), a board member of ‘Marriage Equality Russia’ said about her participation in the organization:
“This campaign is not only about my marriage with Irina. We want to bring our contribution to help opening the way to marriage to other gays and lesbians and not only in Russia”.
Nikolai Alekseev, spokesman for ‘Marriage Equality Russia’ said:
“Russia is a country where you cannot hold a march in the streets if you openly advertize it as gay, and this is the same with registering an openly gay organization”
“We could probably succeed in registering a NGO and remain discreet on its aim or organize a march without applying it as a gay march, but there is simply no sense in staying in the closet. Only the fight for visibility gets you in the media and help with time to make more people open about us.”
“Knocking at each door in secret and quietly explain what is homosexuality is not going to take us anywhere in a country of 141 million”
Last October, a group of UN experts found that discrimination against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation is “systematic”.
Marriage Equality Russia
‘Protest the Pope’ Downing Street Petition launched
Gordon Brown urged to disassociate the government from Pope’s views
Already over 3,000 signatures
London – 22 February 2010
A Downing Street petition has been launched, urging Prime Minister Gordon Brown to “disassociate the British government from the Pope’s intolerant views.”
The petition has been launched ahead of the Papal visit to Britain in September this year. It has been submitted by human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and has already attracted over 3,000 signatures.
View the petition here:
Note: only UK residents with a UK address are eligible to sign the petition
A petition by Mr Tatchell on the same subject last year was refused inclusion on the Downing Street website.
“The Pope opposes universal human rights. He rejects equality for women and gay people, condemns the use of life-saving condoms, colludes with Holocaust appeasers and he is implicated in the cover-up of child sex abuse by Catholic priests,” said Mr Tatchell.
“A man with such objectionable views should not be honoured with an official State Visit. If he wants to come to Britain, he should pay his own way. The public should not be expected to cover the estimated £20 million cost. This money would be far better spent on schools and hospitals,” added Mr Tatchell.
The petition reads:
“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to disassociate the British government from the Pope’s intolerant views ahead of the Papal visit to Britain in September 2010. We urge the Prime Minister to make it clear that his government disagrees with the Pope’s opposition to women’s reproductive rights, gay equality, embryonic stem cell research and the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV. We ask the Prime Minister to express his disagreement with the Pope’s role in the cover-up of child sex abuse by Catholic clergy, his rehabilitation of the Holocaust-denying bishop Richard Williamson, and his decree paving the way for the beatification and sainthood of the war-time Pope, Pius XII, who stands accused of failing to speak out against the Holocaust. We also request the Prime Minister to assure us that the Pope’s visit will not be financed by the British taxpayer.”
Peter Tatchell has criticised at length the Pope Benedict XVI’s “illiberal” and “often extreme” stance on key social issues:
“The Pope is an opponent of women’s rights. He not only opposes the right of women to choose to have an abortion but also their right to contraception, which can help reduce the abortion rate,” said Mr Tatchell.
“He opposes women’s access to IVF fertility treatment, to give childless couples the chance of parenthood.
“The Pope supports gender discrimination, including a ban on women priests and bishops, and he wants the Catholic Church to be exempt from equality and anti-discrimination laws that apply to everyone else.
“He has sought to block potentially life-saving embryonic stem cell research, and he rejects the right of suffering, terminally ill people to die with dignity at a moment of the their own free choice.
“Pope Benedict denounces the use of condoms, even to stop the spread of HIV, and he has falsely claimed that condom usage “increases” the rate of HIV infection. His teachings put millions of lives at risk.
See The Independent, 27 March 2009:
“He has acquiesced with the Vatican’s lie that condoms spread HIV and that the virus can pass through the latex (sic). This outrageous falsehood has been condemned as untrue and irresponsible by the World Health Organisation and Christian Aid.
See the BBC website, 9 October 2003:
“He rejects legal equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, and their full protection in law against homophobic and transphobic discrimination
“The Pope has approved the Catholic Catechism, which condemns same-sex relationships as a “grave depravity,” “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to natural law.”
See The Vatican website, Catechism 2357:
“In 1992, he authored a Vatican document that condemned homosexuality as an “objective disorder” and a “strong tendency ordered towards an intrinsic moral evil.” Rejecting the concept of gay human rights, the document asserted that there is no “right” to laws protecting homosexual people against discrimination, suggesting that the civil liberties of lesbians and gay men can be “legitimately limited for objectively disordered external conduct.”
See in full the Vatican document – Some Considerations Concerning the Catholic Response to Legislative Proposals on the Non-Discrimination of Homosexual Persons:
“The Pope has attacked same-sex marriages as “evil” and vilified supporters of gay equality as “gravely immoral.” He has also vilified homosexual equality as a “deviant trend” and condemned same-sex love as being “without any social value.”
“Pope Benedict colludes with anti-semitism, including with holocaust deniers and with Catholic leaders who were complicit with the Nazi regime.
“He rescinded the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson who, in 2008, denied key elements of the Holocaust with claims that a maximum of 300,000 Jews died in concentration camps and that none were gassed by the Nazis.
See the BBC website, 4 February 2009:
“He has also paved the way for the beatification and eventual sainthood of Pope Pius XII by issuing a decree in 2009 celebrating his virtues, despite the war-time pontiff’s 1933 Concordat with Adolf Hitler and his silence concerning the Nazi mass murder of six million Jews.
See The Guardian, 22 December 2009:
“While condemning loving, consenting adult same-sex relations, the Pope helped shield from prosecution Catholic clergy guilty of child sex abuse. He colluded with the cover up of their crimes and with the policy of relocating paedophile priests to other parishes, where they often went on to commit further sexual abuse, as revealed in the 2006 BBC Panorama programme, Sex crimes and the Vatican.
See the Evening Standard, 30 September 2006:
and see BBC Panorama 1 October 2006:
“Pope Benedict is complicit with human rights abuses and should not be accorded the honour of a State Visit to Britain,” said Mr Tatchell.